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Hanson Environment Fund calls for more waste and recycling research

The Hanson Environment Fund, which uses landfill tax credits to benefit a wide range of environmental and community projects, is calling for an increase in recycling, research and education schemes. Last year projects benefiting the environment and communities received awards amounting to £2.7 million, but the fund was able to channel only £985,000 into recycling, research and education.

The fund's 1999 annual report proves how effective the landfill tax credit scheme can be, detailing grants totalling nearly œ4 million to more than 70 projects throughout the UK. However, the document also highlights the current lack of well thought-out and sustainable waste-minimisation projects being submitted for consideration - an area that Hanson are keen to support to help achieve government targets on waste reduction in the UK. These are currently set at 25% recycling of household waste and 85% recycling of commercial waste by the year 2005.

Richard Varcoe, chairman of the fund, commented: 'This year we have more than doubled the number of projects supported, mainly due to the increase in the landfill tax but also because there has been a surge in quality submissions to the fund, particularly to our new Community Grants Scheme.

'However, we still haven't been able to evenly spread our funding across all the areas of support. We simply aren't seeing enough quality research, recycling and education projects. Those that come forward often fail to demonstrate a clear need or lack the ability to support themselves after our funding has ended. It would be short-sighted for waste-reduction schemes to rely continually on funding from landfill tax, which is generated only by the production of waste.'

Next year the Hanson Environment Fund board plans to carry out a review of recycling and waste-minimisation and research projects, identify successful initiatives for replication and develop a targeted approach to funding in this area. 

 

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